Prague Airport has put its first robot to work, entertaining passengers and providing them with basic information.
The Czech airport and Mastercard have together put Master Pepper to work in Terminal 2, Concourse D after the security checkpoint.
Passengers can interact with Master Pepper in English or Czech. The robot can direct passengers to the nearest information counter, children’s play area or specific departure gate. It will dance for passengers upon request and eagerly take a selfie with them. At the same time, it will provide information about Prague Airport or Mastercard’s services.
Master Pepper was manufactured by the French company Aldebaran in cooperation with SoftBank Robotics from Japan. It is 120 centimeters tall, weighs 28 kilograms and can operate for up to 12 hours on a full charge. The robot’s on-site safety will be provided by information staff present throughout Prague Airport.
Master Pepper interacts in several ways, including movement and voice functions. It has four microphones, three cameras and a 3D depth reader on its head. There is a gyroscope in its core. Touch sensors are located on the robot’s head and hands. In the lower part of its body, there are two sonars, six lasers, three touch sensors and another gyroscope.
It will be available to passengers daily from 7 am to 10 pm.
Václav Řehoř, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prague Airport:
“Prague Airport has long-term development plans. Through their creation and implementation, we are looking at the distant future, so that all future projects have the potential to function efficiently and harmoniously, even after several decades. For this reason, we are closely monitoring emerging trends in modern technologies, which we evaluate and subsequently put into operation. The technological development of the airport is focused on five distinct areas. These are future security, future mobility, seamless passenger travel, virtual shopping and customer experience. Master Pepper is an example of the technological development of the airport in the area of customer experience.”
Miroslav Lukeš, CEO for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria:
“We have much in common. We are a global innovative technology company, just like Master Pepper’s manufacturer, and we operate the fastest payment processing network, which is also important for air travel. And just like Master Pepper, we provide people with a unique experience – in our case, it is our Priceless Specials and Priceless Cities payment card programs. Mastercard introduced the first commercial application for Master Pepper in 2016 in Asia.”
The robot project is just part of the technological development of Václav Havel Airport Prague focused on enhancing customer experience.
In order to facilitate and advance its technological development, Prague Airport launched the PRGAirportLab initiative, which aims to monitor emerging trends in new technologies with regard to the airport’s development, to analyze their use in air transport and to implement selected projects. Examples of such technologies include biometrics, virtual reality, smart parking, virtual taxi, holograms and robots.
Pepper at other airports
Pepper is currently the robot most used or trialled by airline and airports. Here are a few stories on passengerselfservice.com about Pepper.
- Munich Airport and Lufthansa testing Josie Pepper the information robot
- HMSHost deploys Pepper the Robot to promote app
- Pepper invites passengers to the bar at Oakland International Airport
- EVA introduces customer service robots at Taipei airports
Robots at airports around the world
The number of robots trialed at airports (and ports) is increasing and includes:
- AnBot at Shenzhen Airport
- Airbot from LG, coming to Seoul
- ASIMO at Tokyo Narita
- Athena at Los Angeles
- EMIEW3 at Tokyo Haneda
- GLAdys at Glasgow
- Nao for Japan Airlines at Tokyo Haneda
- Leo at Geneva
- Norma, Amelia, and Piper at San Jose
- Pepper for EVA at Taipei
- ‘Sheldon’ at Indianapolis
- Spencer at Amsterdam Schiphol
- Unnamed at Seoul Incheon
- Zunpeng Xiaobao for Shenzhen Airlines
Kokoro, the very human like assistant at Narita, AnBot at Shenzhen Airport with the cattle prod and the Sheldon Cooper lookalike at Indianapolis remain in the top three.
N.B. Image credit: Prague Airport